This is for any one that has one of these crappy skimmers. I just did all these mods and actually am very pleased with the results. To begin with save your money and invest in a better skinner but if you have one, these mods are good. Introduction
The Seaclone is not that bad of a skimmer. Considering its price and power consumption it is one of the better low-end models. Many reefers say it is useless and doesn't skim (if at all) as much as their Turboflotor,etc but that's like comparing apples to oranges. This is an unfair comparison since the Seaclone only uses a Maxi-Jet 1200 for both water flow and bubble generation and is about 1/4 the cost.
In an effort to avoid any confusion the terminology used in this write-up is as follows. The inner tube is the 1" diameter riser at the centre of the skimmer. The intermediate tube is the 2-3/4" +/- diameter tube that separates the reaction chamber from the outflow channel. The Basic Tasks of Modification
There are three basic tasks that can individually enhance a Seaclone's performance.
1) Replace the stock air flow adjustment end cap and replace with a air adjustment valve. The air flow adjustment endcap that the Seaclone comes with is the item that frustrates many hobbyists. It is not meant to be used the way it needs to be and is obviously a cost saving measure by the manufacturer. Opened too wide the Maxi-Jet generates too much bubbles and inadequate flowrate. There is also a point where too much air will decrease the suction of the water pump hence reducing both the water flow rate and bubble generation to nearly zero. Don't open the cap enough and the water flow becomes too high and flushes the bubbles down to the outflow channel and into your display tank. Hence a good air adjustment valve is needed to control the bubble generation and water flow rate.
2) Reduce the inner most riser tube's length to approximately 2-1/2" to 3" in length. This can be accomplished by pulling out the inner tube with a pair of needle nose pliers after you have gently rock the tube back and forth with your fingers. It should come loose without breaking. Take your time with this task because if you do break the inner tube you will have a very tough time clearing the base of broken acrylic. Unless you have very small hands that can fit in the skimmer. Reaction time is one of the main factors in protein skimming and the stock Seaclone has very little of this. The inner tube extends too high and is too narrow in diameter offering very little bubble and water mixing and contact time. Cutting this inner tube down in length effectively utililizes the volume of the intermediate tube as a reaction chamber. The intermediate tube has a much larger diameter hence cross sectional area and inversely the flow rate. The flow of water through the reaction chamber is greatly reduced, allowing for a greater contact time.
3) Seal the base of the collection cup to the top of the intermediate tube. The simplest method I came up with is by taking a plain old rubber glove and cutting the fingers off. Then rolling the glove to form a O-ring shape. A portion of the air from the bubble generation does not exit the skimmer via the foam collection cup. Sealing the base of the cup to the top flange of the intermediate tube forces all the air to flow through the cup. This increased air flow helps push the foam up to be collected. Another Modification Worth Considering
Reduce the height of the riser tube in the collection cup. The skimmate that the Seaclone generates is quite dark when compared to that produced by high-end skimmers. The main reason for this is the difference in height between the water column/foam interface and the top of the skimmate overflow tube in the collection cup. This distance is far too much for the foam to travel for this low power skimmer. The Maxi-Jet simply doesn't generate enough foam and air to blow the skimmate up such a tall dry column. I way that I did this was with a hand held cutting tool(Dremal). You have to do this slow as there is no guide availible to help cut it. Also the acrylic will heat up and melt on the cutting blade. Take your time with this step. I cut about a 1/2" off. Since making these modifications I have had to empty the collection once and it has not even been 24hrs since I modified it.